Ysgol Gyfun Gartholwg
WORDS: Gareth John /
Right, I know this is not exactly a Cardiff thing, but as there is not a site like this for Rhondda Cynon Taf [there will be soon... watch this space - ed], well, this is practice. Don't mind me.
This is concerning my school. The proud school, Ysgol Gyfun Gartholwg.
Yeah, I thought you might not have known where it was.
Because the old school, YG Rhydfelen (and I'll be calling the school by this name from now on) was falling apart (bit like the economy these days), they decided to build a new school for us in Church Village.
Ever since they proposed changing the school name to Gartholwg (as it sits next to Gartholwg Primary School), there have been many protests about keeping the name (we even had a strike when all pupils sat on the rugby field all day).
Even though the battle (between then headmaster of Rhydfelen, Peter Grifiths and the council) seemed to calm down for the time being, the fire has been re-ignited by the current head and deputy head, Ms T. Ann Morris and Mr Matthew Evans (funny that, I have a friend with that same name).
So, what's made the fire's rage once more? They do not only want to change the name to Gartholwg, but also change another thing that has bean recognised as a trait of Rhydfelen: the colour scheme of its uniforms.
I mean, what is the point in this? First point: green, black and silver have been the colours of this school since it started (y'know, back in the days when tennis was spiffing and cars were the new ultra-super invention).
Second, changing the name (and colour scheme) is, effectively, erasing the name Rhydfelen from the history books. According to Wikipedia (I know it's not the best source, but it'll do for now), Rhydfelen is the highest rated Welsh-medium school in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Its long history, growing from 50(ish) pupils on the first day to over a thousand to date, and its hard work towards the high status of the name Rhydfelen will be demolished with the old school for the sake of renaming the school after the place it is situated.
Okay, I am in the last two years studying at this school, so why should I care? The school will still be there once I fly the cookoo's nest. Of course, things change. Not names that mean something. You can't buy Manchester United and rename it Llandaf Hotspur, right? So why should this be any diffferent?
Last point is, obviously, the cost. We are in a recession, as you might have known. So the head of Rhydfelen decides NOW is the best time to change the uniform? I just wish Mr Peter Grifiths didn't retire. Nor Dr Phil Ellis.
Right, so why have I got this on a site dedicated to all things splendid in Cardiff?
Basically, I want to raise awareness about it. We need support to keep both the good name of Rhydfelen and its greenness.
Also, this is a link to an album by Twm Davies, called Ffarwel Rhydfelen, meaning goodbye Rhydfelen. Hopefully the name of the school will live on, unlike the building that once was great.
Well, I better go now, I have some Haribo to devour. Go me.